Many couples choose not to marry, but the legal issues that they face upon separation can be just as significant, and potentially more complex to resolve, as those of divorcing couples.
However, the laws are very different for unmarried couples and they will not have access to the full range of financial support that they may otherwise have been entitled to on divorce because, despite popular belief, there is no such thing as “common law marriage”.
For this reason, if someone is living together with their partner, or are considering a separation, it is important to take legal advice to find out where they stand.
The ownership of the home, and the right to occupy it, are particularly important issues to consider. However, this can be a complicated area of law and in some circumstances, legal action may need to be taken to establish the true ownership of the property, or to obtain the sale if one of the couple refuses to do so.
Financial support from a partner is also very different if you are unmarried, as partners can only obtain this on behalf of their children, rather than just for themselves as they may have been able to do had they been married.
This can be by agreement, through the Child Maintenance Service, or in some circumstances through the courts. The support available will depend on the financial circumstances of the couple but can include both income and housing.
We can provide clear advice, assistance and representation, offering practical solutions to achieve your aims.